Broncos’ quarterback Trevor Siemian, a seventh-round pick in 2015, has been the most successful first-year, come-out-of-nowhere quarterback this season not named Carson Wentz.

In his first three games, after winning the QB competition over Mark Sanchez this summer, Siemian has completed 63 of 94 passes (67 percent) for 756 yards and five TDs, with just three interceptions. The Orlando native has increased his pass yardage every week, en route to a 95.9 rating and a 3-0 record while leading the Super Bowl Champions.

He’s been impressive, to say the least, and for most it’s come as a major surprise. But not to those who know him best.

In a league full of connections, the Bucs have a former college teammate of Siemian’s on the roster in sixth-round pick Danny Vitale. Vitale, currently on the practice squad, remembers his friend and teammate at Northwestern as a poised and winning quarterback – even when Siemian was an underclassman backup.

Bucs Superback Dan Vitale - Photo courtesy of Northwestern

Bucs Tight End Dan Vitale – Photo courtesy of Northwestern

“Especially my freshman year. Every time we had a needed a big drive, a two-minute drill to finish the game, Trevor was always the guy to come in,” Vitale said, explaining that Siemian, then a sophomore, would replace junior QB Kain Colter. “A game that comes to mind was my very first college game at Syracuse where he led a huge drive. Just the composure and everything he’s got is unbelievable, and unparalleled in my opinion.”

Vitale, who caught 74 of his 135 receptions at Northwestern during Siemian’s stint as the full-time starter, can give insight from a personal standpoint as his friend. Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith, meanwhile, offered his take on Siemian’s situation in the NFL. Smith believes the second-year pro is perfectly suited for the Broncos, specifically coach Gary Kubiak’s offense.

“He plays very well in coach Kubiak’s system. Coach Kubiak knows what he’s looking for in a quarterback,” Smith said. “It’s very systematic and system-driven. I think it’s system-driven with the quarterback’s [Kubiak’s] coached. I think it’s system-driven with the running backs that he has on his football team.

“They do a very good job of keeping you off-balanced with the personnel groupings. The quarterback is the guy who drives it and they ask him to do a lot. I think he’s a smart quarterback and I think he has an above-average arm. He did throw, last week, the two explosive touchdowns to the big receiver [Demaryius Thomas] and the fast receiver [Emmanuel Sanders]. I like him. He’s a second-year player and he’s just going to get better. He’s going to be a guy, I think, who flourishes in their system.”


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About the Author: Zach Shapiro

Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders. Contact him at:
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